Research Staff

Prescilla Carrion, MSc

Research Genetic Counsellor

Prescilla is a Canadian and American board-certified genetic counsellor and clinical associate professor in the UBC Department of Psychiatry. Prescilla trained in psychiatric genetic counselling with Dr. Jehannine Austin as a senior research genetic counsellor in the Translational Psychiatrics Group. Through her work with the UBC Institute of Mental Health Centre for Care and Research, she has been the first to provide psychiatric genetic counselling while embedded as part of a specialized treatment program for inpatients with treatment resistant psychosis and their families.  The impact she has made through psychiatric genetic counselling has been acknowledged within a published, family member written essay nominating her for the National Society of Genetic Counseling Code Talker Award in 2018. Prescilla joined GenCOUNSEL within the first of its kind role as a genetic counsellor integrated within a primary care clinic, the Victoria Cool Aid Community Health Centre.

Caitlin Slomp, MSc

Research Genetic Counsellor

Caitlin is a genetic counsellor and Clinical Assistant Professor at UBC, with a BSc in Molecular Genetics from the University of Alberta and a MSc in Genetic Counselling from UBC. She works with the Translational Psychiatric Genetics Group conducting research related to genetics, mental illness and outcomes of psychiatric genetic counselling, and runs a longitudinal cohort study on children’s mental health. As a part of the GenCOUNSEL project, she conducted qualitative research exploring the process of integrating genetic counselling into primary care practice. 

Past students

Angela Siemens, MSc

Project Assistant

Angela is a recent UBC graduate. She will be starting her Masters in Medical Genetics in the fall of 2019. She has worked in various research positions, including Orthopedics research at St. Paul’s Hospital, and the Cancer Science Institute in Singapore. She was a Work Learn student on the GenCOUNSEL research team.

Nicole Liang, MSc

Research Assistant

Nicole was a research assistant with GenCOUNSEL, working on a series of follow-up interviews to evaluate patient needs in genomic testing. She has worked with the CAUSES Project and also works on the IMAGINE Project with the Friedman Lab. She graduated from Genetic Counselling Program at the University of Toronto. Nicole has a special interest in the psychosocial impacts of variant reclassification and ethnocultural barriers in genetic counselling.

Valerie Chu, MSc

Research Assistant

Valerie has worked as a genetic counselling research assistant, clinical cardiogenetics assistant, and project assistant at St. Paul’s and UBC Hospital, BC Children’s Heart Centre, and GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre as part of her co-op and Work Learn experiences. She joined GenCOUNSEL as a research assistant implementing a decision aid, DECIDE, to help families make informed decisions around genome-wide sequencing. Valerie recently graduated as a Genetic Counselling MSc from McGill University.

Caitlin Aldridge, MSc

Directed Studies Project Graduate Student

Caitlin was a MSc in Genetic Counselling student in her second year at the University of British Columbia while working on GenCOUNSEL. She completed an Honours BSc in Biology and Psychology at McMaster University. As a part of her graduate degree, Caitlin's project looked retrospectively at the value and impact of genome wide sequencing for parents of infants in neonatal intensive care. 

Emily Enns, MSc

Independent Studies Project Graduate Student

Emily graduated from UVic in 2018 with a BScHons in Combined Biology and Psychology. and Masters in Genetic Counselling at McGill University. Her independent studies project was part of GenCOUNSEL, under the supervision of Dr. Alison Elliott. Emily is surveying the Canada-wide usage of genome-wide sequencing (GWS) and the provision of counselling via remote technologies such as Telehealth. 

Bailey Falkner

Project Assistant

Bailey Falkner was an undergraduate student at UBC studying Biology. She volunteered as a counsellor on the Crisis Text Line and had an interest in genetic counselling. As a Work Learn student on the GenCOUNSEL project, she had been involved with developing a patient panel to incorporate further patient insights.

Peter Grant MPhil, MSc

Graduate Student (MSc)

Peter graduated from UBC Medical Genetics MSc program in 2021. Prior to arriving in BC, Peter studied Cancer and Genetics at Cardiff University, working to develop a short-form of the Genetic Counselling Outcome Scale (GCOS-24), and intellectual property at Bournemouth University, completing the UK CIPA foundation exams. As part of the Elliott lab, Peter's project researched patient self-pay in the context of genetic and genomic testing, and the policies surrounding the matter.

Rhea Beauchesne, BSc

Research Assistant (Co-op term 2020-21, Work Learn 2021-22)

Rhea was an undergraduate student at UBC studying Integrated Sciences in Neuroscience and Genetics. She is interested in the research and practice of genetic counselling and biomedical ethics. As part of her Co-op experience, Rhea worked in the Elliott lab as a research assistant for Activity 3 and later as Work Learn student helping to implement DECIDE, a decision-aid tool helping families make informed decisions about genome sequencing.

Kyrstin Lavelle

Research Project Assistant (Worklearn 2022-2023)

Kyrstin is a current neuroscience undergraduate student at UBC. Within the Elliot lab, Kyrstin was a research assistant for Activity 3. She assisted with the implementation of the Genomic Results Booklet, a clinical tool that helps families understand the complexity of sequencing results.

Bhavya Sabbineni

Communications Project Assistant (Worklearn 2022-2023)

Bhavya is an undergraduate student at UBC studying Biomedical Engineering. She is interested in scientific communication and research related to genetics, synthetic biology​, and regenerative medecine. As part of her Work-Learn experience, Bhavya worked on developing effective knowledge translation content of research outcomes to improve public access to genetic counseling resources.